Stockings are quite possibly my favorite part of Christmas morning. Aside from the cozy pj’s, warm mugs of coffee and the squeals from my little ones, it’s the best.
Even as a kid I was always most excited to see what would be inside. And yeah, as an adult? My mom still fills a stocking for me and my husband usually does, too. They’re just so fun!
So I was wondering about this tradition lately – and many holiday traditions for that matter – and I did some snooping. I don’t know WHY we do almost any of these things! Mistletoe? Christmas trees? Who knows?!
The story I just heard about the stockings though, is almost… disturbing. Such a strange way to start such an important Christmas tradition.
Do You Know Why We Hang Stockings?
So here is the story…
Now, this is of course legend, with no actual written record, but it’s the story that’s being passed around.
We know what a dowry is, right? It’s “property or money brought by a bride to her husband on their marriage.”
Well, there was an old widowed father with three daughters who were very poor. They wanted to be married and the father was worried what would happen to them once he passed, but he had no dowry money.
No dowry money = no marriages.
The only way they would be able to get the money was to prostitute. Wait — what??
The father certainly didn’t want that to happen so he started to panic and word got around.
The original Saint Nicholas decided to help them out and dropped some gold coins down their chimney — some happening to land in an old sock that was hung by the fire to dry.
The girls got their dowry money and life was sweet.
So there it is: the sweet stocking tradition we have now with our children was started by a man helping a few girls get married and not prostitute themselves. It’s a little strange, no?
But hey, who cares… I love my stockings and will keep filling them up until I’m old and grey. I just may make up a new story to tell my children if they ever ask why we hang stockings.
Liz is a just a mom trying to keep it real about how little she sleeps, how often she gets puked on and how much she loves them. You can find her here every day writing about real-mom moments.